IS HONESTY THE BEST POLICY?
Saying certain things or not saying them reveals a person as either an honest man or as dishonest. Not being honest may involve pretending things are one way when they are really another way. There are those who believe that if you don’t surround yourself with honest people you will not be honest yourself. How often do we see full disclosure today?
For instance, if a cashier accidentally gives you too much change, do you keep it? When a woman asks you how her hair looks, do you always tell her it looks great? What if it really looks like a rat’s nest?
When is the last time you told your boss he had bad breath? Were you really sick the last time you took a day off of work because you called in sick? Did you really deserve the last ticket you got? Honesty may be the best policy but it isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Being sensitive of the feelings of others and facing unpleasant truths makes being honest hard work. Hey, I’m just being honest with you.
The little boy was sent by his mother to buy a 65 cent loaf of bread. While the baker was putting the bread into a bag, the boy noticed that the loaf looked rather small. "Isn't that a small loaf of bread for 65 cents?"
"You'll have less to carry," replied the baker. The boy put 50 cents on the counter. "You're 15 cents short," said the baker.
"That's right, " replied the boy. "You'll have less to count."
Name one politician that is completely honest and only tells the whole truth about anything!
Things that are honest are held in respect, honorable, truthful and trustworthy. They are the real thing and deal with noble character.
Taking part in dishonest behavior is a practice most people learned in childhood and carry on as adults. It becomes so much a part of our lives that the line drawn between reality and fantasy starts fading away. Some experts say fear motivates dishonesty by tempting us to discolor the facts.
The fish that got away is always bigger than the one on the end of the hook! Be honest about it.
This makes me think about the car commercial where they advertise a car with a new paint job. What they don’t tell you is the reason why the car got new paint. It was involved in a terrible wreck and the paint covered up part of the results of the wreck. People often find themselves deceived because they aren’t told the whole truth. If they only knew the rest of the story!
In the late 1980's in Columbus, Ohio, an armored car spilled $2,000,000 on the freeway. Only $400,000 was ever recovered, the rest disappeared with the throngs of people who stopped and scooped up the cash. Some folks were honest enough to return what wasn't theirs: Melvin Kaiser gave back $57,000. Those who have studied human personality say that if we know the people who lost the money, we'll generally give it back. However, if we don't know them, 75% of the time we'll keep the cash.
The thought of being honest in all things finds itself a heavier weight than many Christian are able to bear. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Gossip (partial truths) has no need of repetition.
This is like the warning to those who sell insurance. When selling insurance policies you should be honest at all times. If you tell lies they may come back to bite you in the end. You may not think that this is true but it is! Not always be easy, this is something that you should do regardless. If you tell one little lie it may turn into something bigger. Not to mention the fact that it could cause major problems for the consumer that is listening to what you have to say.
God’s Word has a lot to say about the need of honesty. This has always been true no matter where we live or when we live. The Lord is honest with us. Why can’t we be honest with Him?
“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” Proverbs 12:22
We have looked at the surface of dishonesty, but God says there are also many hidden things linked to it. These may be things God knows about but we never learn about until it’s too late.
In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus identified an honest man as the good ground with seed that brings forth patience.
“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15
God’s Spirit, as the Administrator of the church, tells us that honest men are ideal for leadership positions. Sadly, I have known many men in church leadership who were not honest. Think about what they did in the early church.
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” Acts 6:3
Paul exhorted the church at Rome to maintain a testimony before the world that was a lighthouse of honesty.
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:17
Since the dishonest acts of men seem tied to the flesh and its lusts, Paul also spoke of living a life free of the hidden secrets of hypocrisy. He hated the half truths the world offered and wrote about the urgent need for living a life without shame the whole world could examine. Yet, how many things are done in the dark or in private that dishonor the Lord? Maybe the leaders of our government should think about how honest they really are. Christian, how about you?
“Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:13-14
It’s hard to think about things honest when we find ourselves surrounded by dishonesty! If no one read the society section of the newspaper, would the dishonesty stop? What if corruption in the government came to an end and every politician kept the promises he or she made on the campaign trail? Not only would that be a dramatic change, but it wouldn’t stop dishonesty. As long as we’re in this flesh, it will probably continue. However, that does not excuse it.
When we dwell on the dishonesty that surrounds us, we find ourselves deceived by lies that contain just enough truth to fool us unless we constantly test the spirits.
“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:2
“….do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.” 2 Corinthians 13:7
Much more could be said about this. Let’s determine as Christians to make a difference at the workplace this week. Though tempted to be dishonest, don’t give in to the temptation. Tell the whole truth. Are you up for it? Think about it!
Whatsoever things are honest…think on these things. Philippians 4:8
As you think about things that are true and honest, the attractions of the world don’t mean so much any more. Some of the worries melt away as God takes a greater priority in daily life. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it this week. I challenge you.